Messi vs Neymar as Argentina and Brazil collide in battle for continental supremacy-Sports News , Novi Reporter

Messi vs Neymar as Argentina and Brazil collide in battle for continental supremacy-Sports activities Information , Novi Reporter

Former Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar will line up reverse one another in Saturday’s Copa America closing seeking to finish a hoodoo that has additionally affected a few of their international locations’ best gamers.

Copa America 2021: Messi vs Neymar as Argentina and Brazil collide in battle for continental supremacy

Lionel Messi and Neymar. AP

Former Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar will line up reverse one another in Saturday’s Copa America closing seeking to finish a hoodoo that has additionally affected a few of their international locations’ best gamers.

Like Brazil’s Pele and Diego Maradona of Argentina earlier than them, neither Messi nor Neymar has ever received the Copa.

That statistic will change for one in all them within the dream closing at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium.

For six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, this can be his fourth Copa closing and maybe his final likelihood to complete on the profitable aspect.

He is been his staff’s standout performer, as ever, scoring 4 targets and creating 5 extra — the match chief in each classes.

However at 34, this might be his final Copa and subsequent yr’s World Cup may very well be his final main worldwide match altogether.

To date, finals have led solely to disappointment for Messi having misplaced in 2007, 2015 and 2016 on the Copa, and seen his aspect overwhelmed 1-0 by Germany on the 2014 World Cup.

Some folks consider profitable one thing with Argentina is Messi’s solely remaining skilled objective.

“We’ll attempt to cease him attaining this goal,” stated Brazil centre-back Marquinhos.

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“As a lot as Messi, we even have gamers that deserve this title … like our personal ‘Ney’ who wasn’t there for the final Copa,” he added.

At 29, Neymar has a bit extra time on his aspect however he was injured and absent two years in the past when Brazil received their ninth title on residence soil, beating Peru 3-1 within the closing.

‘Everlasting rivals’ 

However in addition to the 2 superstars lining up on reverse sides on Saturday, this can be a basic match between two world heavyweights.

“We will play a closing towards our everlasting rivals, the lifelong ones, the 2 strongest nationwide groups in South America and we hope … will probably be an important match,” stated Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.

“Brazil versus Argentina is way more than a easy recreation of soccer … these jerseys make the world stand nonetheless to look at their video games. That represents the historical past of Brazil-Argentina,” added Marquinhos.

Extremely, these two sides are usually not even the 2 most profitable ones in Copa historical past, with Uruguay having received 15 titles to Argentina’s 14 and Brazil’s 9.

In what’s the forty seventh version of the Copa, that is additionally simply the fourth time these two have met within the closing, with Argentina triumphing the primary time in 1937 and Brazil popping out on prime in 2004 and 2007.

And that’s regardless of having confronted one another greater than 100 instances of their historical past.

They’ve been by far the strongest two sides within the competitors, even when Argentina rode their luck a contact of their semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Colombia.

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‘World class gamers’ 

The 2 squads are spectacular for his or her energy in depth.

Of their semi-final victory over Peru — and regardless of Manchester Metropolis ahead Gabriel Jesus being suspended — Brazil left the likes of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, Flamengo hot-shot Gabriel Barbosa and Actual Madrid starlet Vinicius Junior on the bench.

In midfield, Liverpool’s Fabinho has been stored out of the aspect by a resurgent Fred, of Manchester United.

Likewise, Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria — a vivid spark when he got here on within the semi-final towards Colombia — has largely began on the bench whereas new Barcelona signing Sergio Aguero has hardly had a glance in for Argentina.

Messi and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez (three targets) have offered Argentina’s primary attacking thrust however they’ve high quality and creativity all through.

“Argentina are usually not simply Lautaro and Messi, we can not solely focus on these two,” stated Brazil and Actual Madrid midfielder Casemiro.

“They’re nice gamers, world class gamers, but when Argentina have reached the ultimate it is due to the (entire) group, we now have to respect this.”

In addition to seeking to finish his career-long trophy drought with Argentina, Messi might make historical past in one other method on Saturday.

He at present sits on 76 targets for Argentina, one shy of Pele’s South American file of 77 nationwide staff targets.

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